The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to happen on February 24 in the USA, which means Indians get to watch in the early hours of 25th. And like always it comes with its share of controversies. This year's edition of Oscars is going to happen without a host, after Kevin Hart stepped down over racially insensitive comments and the committee couldn't get a replacement. Then it was announced that four technical awards would be given out during the ads just to have a reduced runtime, which invited flak from many celebs. And there are the nominees chosen for various categories, which is a different story altogether! Bradley Cooper For A Star is Born, Damien Chazelle For First Man, Emily Blunt For Marry Poppins Returns - All The Academy Awards 2019 Snubs!
The one category that received very few criticisms was the Best Animated Feature. Truth to be told, there were very few 'masterpieces' in this genre that released last year. So the nominees that the jury chose sat well with the fans. Of course, it was Disney who dominated the category with two nominees in Ralph Breaks The Internet and Incredibles 2 (co-produced with Pixar). The other nominees are Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures) and Mirai (GKids). Let's look at each of the nominees individually and determine which of these films is worth winning and is going to be chosen.
Isle of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson
After the idiosyncratic The Fantastic Mr Fox, acclaimed director Wes Anderson returns to the genre of stop-motion-animated films with Isle of Dogs. Fans of the director were completely pleased that the latest movie was devoid of Andersons' trademark quirks, while narrating a heart-warming tale filled with enough humour. Also, the huge voice-cast featuring the likes of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Courtney B Vance, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and F Murray Abraham, is just too good!
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
The Academy Award jury always look to recognise the fine work of Japanese anime nearly every year. This year, too, they didn't disappoint us as Mirai has been chosen to compete with the best of Hollywood animation. Mirai narrates the tale of a young boy who comes across a magical garden that mysteriously makes time travel happen and let him meet his younger sister from the future. While the unusual script is fascinating, it is the whole bonding between the siblings that gets to you!
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Director: Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
The sequel to the highly enjoyable 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph Breaks The Internet derives some of its best moments from the friendship between Ralph and cloyingly voiced Vanellope von Schweetz. There are plenty of enjoyable Easter Eggs and cameos, especially the whole Disney princesses sequence. Some may argue that the movie panders to a lot of Disney properties, which may go against its stakes at winning the award. Even without that accusation, there is little chance that Ralph Breaks The Internet could win the statuette seeing the kind of competition it is facing, where it is the weakest of the lot.
Director: Brad Bird
The sequel arrives 14 years after the first film, and yet it behaves as if the passage of time never happened. Thankfully, even the quality of the first film has also rubbed off on Incredibles 2. It is a highly engaging superhero flick with some incredible sequences (Jack Jack and racoon fight) and a wonderful insight into the superhero family dynamics. The villain reveal is disappointingly predictable, though the rest of the movie is enjoyable. Also would like to point out here, that its predecessor had won two Oscars back in the day (second being for Sound Editing). Can Incredibles 2 make history again for the franchise?
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
In our review for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we not only called the movie the Best Animated film of the year, but also the best superhero film in recent times. The movie is a loving tribute to Spider-Man as a character, while also being a very thrilling adventure that blends humour, drama and geek elements seamlessly. Nearly everything in the movie is perfect, from the casting to the music to the visual. Also, it has one of the best Stan Lee cameos in the movie, God bless his departed soul! Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has already won at Golden Globes and BAFTAs, so there is a high chance that it would take away the Oscar too!
Our Predicted Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (though even Isle of Dogs has a great chance!)
The Movie That Should Actually Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Agree with our prediction? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Also, watch this space for more of our prediction about some of the main categories in the Academy Awards 2019!